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Blake Zaretsky and Jonathan Dembling’s Wedding at New York’s Museum of Natural History

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Jason Walker for Ira Lippke Studios, Second Shooter: Fred Castleberry

Blake Zaretsky and Jonathan Dembling had been dating for four years when one October afternoon they were driving to visit her parents in upstate New York. “Jon suggested we pull over at a scenic overlook to see the foliage,” Blake remembers. “I was taking pictures and all of a sudden, Jon is on one knee with a ring in his hand.”

The couple celebrated their engagement at Blake’s parent’s home, where both of their families were waiting for them after Jonathan’s surprise proposal. For most of her life, Blake, who’s in business development at Carats & Cake, thought she wanted to tie the knot there, but after stopping by the Museum of Natural History for work one afternoon, she set her sights on this famed New York institution.

After securing the museum for her big day, Blake started working with planner Jennifer Zabinski and event organizer David Beahm to transform the venue into a magical event space. “My favorite color is pink and Beahm and his team managed to work that color scheme into the overall design of the wedding without it feeling childish or cheesy,” she explains. “The ceremony started out in blush tones, cocktail hour was more bubblegum pink, and by the reception, we were into magenta.” (Coincidentally enough, the groom works as general counsel for a boutique real estate company called Pink Stone Capital.)

When it came time to look for her wedding dress, Blake knew she had found the one the minute she saw a blush Monique Lhuillier dress go down the runway in April. “Fast forward to October when I called Mark Ingram Atelier and begged, ‘Please find me this dress!’” she says. “I didn’t want to have a traditional white dress so it was perfect. In certain light you could see the gorgeous blush coloring, and in other lighting it looked white.” It was the first dress she tried on, and she bought it that very same day. She rounded out her bridal look with Rene Caovilla pumps, and later changed into a pair of feathery Manolo Blahnik blush sandals when it was time to dance.

Since her dress already had a significant amount of beading, Blake decided to keep her accessories at a minimum. She found a pair of drop earrings from Jacob&Co and wore her hair in two separate updos throughout the night. “My hair was in a low bun for the ceremony, and for the party we switched to a fun high bun, which also happened to be the same hairstyle I had when I met Jon.”

Meanwhile the groom opted for a Saint Laurent shawl collar tuxedo, a Maison Margiela tuxedo shirt, and Crockett & Jones velvet tuxedo slippers. Bridesmaids wore white and groomsmen were also in tuxedos.

The Natural History Museum doesn’t allow religious ceremonies indoors, but luckily for the couple, who is Jewish, the bride’s synagogue was only two blocks away. “David Beam and his team created the chuppah of my dreams,” she adds. “It smelled so good underneath all of the flowers.”

After cocktail hour, Blake’s father toasted the newlyweds, and was later followed by Jon’s two brothers, who also took a moment to honor the couple. Dinner was catered by CxRA, who offered a choice of steak, fish, and cauliflower steak. Once it came time to dance, Mr. and Mrs. Dembling took to the dance floor to “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and remained there until 2:00 A.M. when the party finally wrapped up. “The band, was truly unbelievable—Jon and I didn’t leave the dance floor the whole night. It was an incredible evening we’ll never forget!”